Social Media Can Destroy Your Mental Health If You're Not Careful
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Social Media Nearly Destroyed My Mental Health, But Now I'm Back And Better Than Ever

The internet can easily become a dark hole of doom.

Social Media Nearly Destroyed My Mental Health, But Now I'm Back And Better Than Ever

Every Sunday, I receive a notification from my phone that informs me of my average screen time for the previous week. It lets me know if it's increased or decreased compared to weeks before, which apps I used most frequently, basically reminding me of the ridiculous amount of my time I spend glued to my phone.

Since quarantine began, I noticed those numbers starting to grow. Slowly at first, as I still had classes to keep me occupied. But the semester eventually came to an end, and I was faced with my first summer since the end of high school that I would be unable to work. And so, my break became one without structure, one lacking a true daily routine to keep me occupied, and those numbers only continued to rise.

I found myself growing increasingly anxious and stressed at the seemingly endless feed of negativity that my social media accounts delivered.

Every day brought more and more until I could no longer bear to look at it.

So last week, I decided I needed to detox. I needed a break from social media. I was going to be spending the week at a friend's lake house in Wisconsin, and I concluded that there was no better time to unplug and reset.

No more Twitter, no more Instagram, no more Facebook — nothing. My only allowance for myself was the Apple News app, so I could quickly see what was going on in the world once in the morning and once at night. (My only justification for this is that I'm a political science major and just couldn't help myself.)

It was a bit difficult at first. The impulse to sign on during stray moments of boredom was stronger than I'd care to admit. But as the week went on and I grew more used to my self-imposed rules, I saw that desire slowly dissipate.

Instead of spending hours thumbing through different feeds, I spent time reading, hiking, boating, enjoying the outdoors, and those around me. Days flew by me, and I felt my stress and anxiety wane away. I felt better than I had in weeks — in months — no longer weighed down by all that had worried me before. There's something so blissful, so freeing, about living in each moment as it's given to you, unworried by every breaking story or trending topic.

Not to say that you shouldn't pay attention to what's going on around you, as it's always important to stay well-informed. But I made the mistake of allowing it to consume me, to become the forefront of all my thoughts.

I came to realize that there is so much time in a day, so much you can do when you aren't wasting eight hours of it online.

So here I am, one week later, reluctant to ever redownload and return to the social media habits that I held before. When I received my weekly report Sunday night after I returned, I felt so happy, so elated, to see the near 70 percent decrease in my daily screen time.

This past week helped me understand the importance of balance when it comes to time online. It's okay in moderation, as many things are. But the problem arises when you let it consume and overwhelm you — when you allow it to comprise so much of your day.

I still have yet to redownload many of the apps I'd deleted. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure that I will. At least for now. I haven't felt this at peace in a long time. So I think I'll stay social-media free for a little while longer.

Report this Content

7 Tips For Traveling

Don't miss any of these ideas to make your trip complete!

7 Tips For Traveling

Whether it's a day trip, an out-of-state journey, or an experience leaving the country, here are some tried and true traveling tips.

Before any trip, we all think about what to pack and what to bring. We may have a strict itinerary, or we may have looser guidelines for what to do when. But we should also consider the following - make them goals:

Keep Reading... Show less

Writer of the Month: Hunter Johnstone

As an aspiring author, Hunter knew writing for Odyssey would be a great fit for her.

Writer of the Month: Hunter Johnstone

Response writers are what make the world go round at Odyssey! Using our response button feature, they carry on our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Allison Fishman

1. Why is Wilson Hall so complicated to navigate? Even as a senior, I still get lost in Wilson. As a freshman, I was warned about the unnecessary complexity of the building, was laughed at by upperclassman for my confused looks on the first day of school and walked and rewalked the whole hall before finding my classroom. #annoying.

Keep Reading... Show less

Blair Waldorf For governor of new york

What life would be like if the people were led by Queen B.

Blair Waldorf For governor of new york

Cynthia Nixon, a.k.a Miranda from Sex and the City, is running for governor of New York. I think that this would be the best decision that has been made in a while solely based off of the fact that almost no one knows New York like the cast of Sex and the City. This got me thinking about who else would be a good candidate to take over the city of dreams. Then I realized that Blair Waldorf, if she were a real person, would be my number one choice for governor. Here are five reasons why Queen B would be an excellent ruler.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Why Littles Rock

Who doesn't want to be an awesome big?


We see ourselves getting further into the semester.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments